‘They were pretty traumatized,’ neighbors say as doctors ran from pediatric office

Crime

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Neighbors described seeing doctors in scrubs running away from the scene of a hostage situation that turned into a deadly shooting Tuesday in central Austin.

“They were pretty traumatized,” Shelley Todd said, who lives less than a block from Children’s Medical Group, a pediatric doctor’s office that is now a crime scene. “A couple of them needed masks, so I ran out and grabbed some of the plain masks for them. They were all scared.”

Todd heard sirens from her garage and came out and saw police lights heading toward the clinic at West 35th Street and Jackson Avenue, near MoPac.

Later, Todd said she heard hostage negotiators speaking to the suspect over the loudspeaker, and then around 10:50 p.m. she heard multiple booms from inside the building. That came as the SWAT team breached the building and found two people dead inside.

John Thomas also lives nearby, and after he went outside, he was met by police.

“I saw a bunch of cops with military rifles and stuff, then more police. I opened my garage door and they’re all yelling at me, ‘Get inside, get inside!'” Thomas said.

He said his wife came home during the SWAT standoff, and Thomas said they sat on some boxes and saw the whole thing from the alley behind their home.

He heard police officers talk to the suspect for about four of the six-hour standoff, a one-side conversation, police say, as the suspect never answered.

APD said they’ll hold a press conference at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday to give more updates on the case. We will stream the press conference on KXAN.com and on Facebook.

  • People outside after a hostage situation at Children's Medical Center on West 35th Street on Jan. 26, 2021 (KXAN Photo/Juan Salinas)
  • SWAT responded to a hostage situation on West 35th Street Jan. 26, 2021 (KXAN Photo/Andrew Choat)
  • SWAT situation on West 35th Street in central Austin on Jan. 26 (KXAN Photo/Andrew Choat)
  • SWAT situation on West 35th Street in central Austin on Jan. 26 (KXAN Photo/Andrew Choat)
  • Austin police, SWAT respond to call on West 35th Street near Jackson Avenue in central Austin Tuesday evening (KXAN/Juan Salinas)
  • Austin police, SWAT respond to call on West 35th Street near Jackson Avenue in central Austin Tuesday evening (KXAN/Juan Salinas)

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